12 get-going tips for fitness beginners
Want to get into exercise? Take this advice from members and experts to get you moving more
- Stop seeing activity as a chore: instead, think of it as an opportunity for some me-time – an activity that will make you feel fantastic afterwards, or give you a chance to catch up with friends.
- Tell your partner or a friend to keep you accountable. And, if you can plan a time for you both to exercise together, you’ll achieve more by keeping each other motivated.
- Be more active every day. I do two minutes of squats while brushing my teeth. My electric toothbrush has a timer, so I alternate between narrow and wide squats every 30 seconds.’ Kerry (member)
- Just think: of the 168 hours in the week, how many are you dedicating towards actually moving? How would it benefit you to do more? Grab a pen and write down all the positives that go with becoming fitter.
- ‘I pack my sports bag every evening after I’ve eaten my meal and take it with me to work, so there’s no excuse not to go for a lunchtime work-out.’ Nikki Jane (member)
- If you hate running, don’t do it! Finding a workout you enjoy is a must – that way, you’ll actually look forward to going. Join a dance class, take up horse riding or, if you don’t like anything structured, get into the habit of taking a longer route when you’re out walking.
- Write down your specific obstacles to exercising more – are you nervous? Busy? Then figure out different ways to tackle these obstacles. As yourself how you could build fitness into your life in a way that works for you.
- ‘Tiny everyday changes can help. For example, I use my upstairs loo instead of the downstairs one, so I have to take the stairs much more.’ Janet (member)
- If half the challenge of going to the gym is getting out the door, give yourself as many reasons to go as you can. Arrange to meet a friend there, for example.
- ‘I keep moving while I’m in the kitchen. I belly dance while washing up by doing little hip circles and side-to-side moves. They’re barely noticeable but they keep me active.’ Larrissa (member)
- When you’re finding it a struggle just to get up off the sofa, be kind to yourself. For example, put in five minutes of a home workout, and if you’re miserable after that, stop. But usually, once you get five minutes in, you’ll find the energy to do more.
- Don’t let good intentions slide! Whenever you exercise – even if it’s a short walk or a 10-minute workout – record how happy you are in your diary. It will spur you on; US research found remembering enjoying exercise encourages us to keep the habit.